Monday, May 27, 2013

Crafting Isn't Just For Old People, Young People, or Pretentious Hipsters Anymore!

When I was, twelve(ish), I had a table down in the basement where I did crafts.  I hid out down there during the summer heat or when I was bored, and just went to town.  I'd listen to music (Sinead O'Connor was my favorite - probably because it was the first non-kid tape that wasn't my mother's that I'd ever owned) and just make.

The things I'd make weren't great.  I decorated baskets with stiffened fabric made into ruffles, bows, and flowers.  I'd turn that same fabric into earrings and barrettes.  I was not cool, and I'm pretty sure no one but me liked what I was making at all.

And honestly, it wasn't even the stuff I was making that caught me in its web, but that I was making.

I went through years of sporadic creation, making the occasional skirt or embellishing a shirt without the end, instead of the making, being the focus.

So, in the last few months, a few things have changed.

  1. I have hatred for my apartment, but can't afford to move.
  2. I work at home, and can multi-task (i.e. crochet, weave, glue, etc.) without getting the stink-eye from my peers.
  3. I began getting a mysterious subscription to Vogue delivered to my house, in my name.
The last item was the biggest influence.  I don't remember ever subscribing to it, but I began getting Vogue delivered to my house.  The first time I got it, I refused to look through it (body-image stuff).  It didn't get thrown away, instead sitting with the rest of the pile of mail we didn't go through.

Finally, Jon and I faced the chore of sorting the mail.  Instead of throwing it out, I remembered a project in the Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano using magazine pages.  

Instead of copying the exact craft, I used the method and made a rug/mat.

That began my obsession.  

I keep getting the magazines, and continue trying to find uses for them.  Coasters, bracelets, earrings, garbage cans, picture frames, key dishes, jewelry boxes - gee whiz!

But that was just the beginning.  The making sparked the creativity, and it spread to all sorts of stuff.

Crafting may or may not be creative in itself.  Often, it's just following instructions.  However, the act of making something out of raw materials forces you to look at things differently.  Instead of accepting as is, you think of how to improve.

So, I hate my apartment.  I can't afford to move.  I make better.  Painting, decorating, changing.

It's not just that!  I'm writing - like, that's a big deal since I'm so often blocked.  I'm painting.  What?!?  I've never done that!

Crafting can be done by anyone.  It's calming, it's useful, it's very definition covers all manners of methods.  It's creative.  Even if someone thinks they're not creative, or are dull and literal, they can craft and enjoy the benefits.

Instead of watching TV, pick up some yarn.  Work the brain instead of putting it asleep.